Bourbon County Vanilla Rye

vanillarye

“First brewed for the legendary festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer in Chicago, drinkers enjoyed this Bourbon County Variant so much we bottled it the next year (2010). People flocked to stores to get their hands on a bottle and have this one of a kind barrel aged stout. Over the past few years we have heard our fans express their love for this version and we are extremely proud to bring it back in 2014. This years version features a little twist of aging the stout in Rye Whiskey Barrels with a mix of Mexican and Madagascar vanilla beans!”

My full review:

Final Rating: 4.61/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Goose Island tulip. Purchased on black friday in western MA. Bottled 31Oct14.

Pours a deep, inky black body with a modest 1 finger milk chocolate colored head that reduces to leave no lacing, but a faint ring of foam.

Allowed to warm to a little under room temperature prior to analysis, as I wasn’t getting much aroma straight out of the cellar. The vanilla really opens up once it warms, lots of vanilla bean, caramel, butterscotch, reminscent of vanilla cake or a light vanilla extract smell. Bourbon and chocolate in the background with a little booziness. Very inviting on the nose.

Upfront, the vanilla is very apparent on the tongue with a sweet vanilla bean/caramel flavor, leading to a chocolatey-bourbon flavor reminiscent of other bourbon county varieties, followed by a nice roastyness that sticks around for a while. Rich, full mouthfeel with a heavy body and minimal carbonation.

Overall this was very tasty and a few notches above regular BCBS. Richer in body and with the addition of vanilla a little more complex and flavorful.

Omniscience & Proslytism

Omniscience

Ale Refermented in Oak Barrels With Strawberries: Strawberries from Fredericksburg, Texas were added to oak barrels containing mature sour beer. The beer was then allowed to referment to dryness. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally conditioned

Final Rating: 4.54/5

look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a Jester King stemmed glass. Acquired in a trade

Pours a bright cherry, slightly hazy body with a bubbly white head that reduces fairly quickly to leave little lacing or retention.

Aromas are sharp and inviting.. big, juicy strawberry aromas upfront mixed with tart lactic, vinegar, oak, farmhouse funk, cherry, lemon. I could smell this all day.

Upfront the strawberry shines with a pretty acidic sour berry taste, lemony citrus on the follow through with a nice oakyness to compliment. The finish is tart, unripe berries, funk, and a sour fruity bite. Mouthfeel is light and easy to drink. Tough to sip this one!

Overall an outstanding beer, nicely balanced and very flavorful.

Hill Farmstead Arthur: A World-Class Farmhouse Saison

arthur

“Arthur (1922-2005) was our grandfather’s youngest brother; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his 13 siblings. In his honor, this Saison is crafted from American malted barley, American and European hops, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Arthur.”

Final Rating: 4.5/5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Purchased at the brewery in November.

Pours a super hazy, pale yellow body with a big gushing frothy white head that reduces slowly to leave some lacing a decent, uneven white retention that sits for a while. Some sediment.

Aroma is super inviting with big fruity and tart aromas, namely tart citrus, lemon, and green apple mixed with banana-clove, peppery spices, farmhouse funk.

Taste is equally as complex, upfront is tart citrus but not overpoweringly sour, saison yeastyness & barnhouse funk, estery banana, a creamy caramel, with a spicy, peppery, and slightly bitter finish. Super complex. Excellently balanced. Easy to drink with a medium body and medium carbonation. Very refreshing.

Overall a world class Saison, super complex, balanced, and tasty. I expect nothing less from Hill Farmstead.

Grey Monday: Black Tuesday Gone Nuts

greymonday

Grey Monday is a special version of The Bruery’s Black Tuesday imperial stout, in which they add hazlenuts to the bourbon barrels while it’s again. As is the case with Black Tuesday, this monster of a beer lingers at 18-20% alcohol, making it one of the heaviest stouts you can drink.

Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.41/5

look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a large Bruery snifter. 2014 vintage. Acquired in a trade with vitese, thank you sir!

Pours a deep brown, nearly black opaque body with a small light hazlenut head that reduces quickly to leave no lacing or retention.

Allowed to warm for ~30 minutes prior to drinking for maximum flavor and aroma profiles. On the nose comes nice potent vanilla, bourbon, butterscotch, caramel, milk chocolate aromas.

On the tongue comes that big, sticky, syrupy sweetness of the Black Tuesday base, combined with sweet molasses, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, bourbon. The aftertaste is where the hazlenuts shine through, with nutty notes followed by a nice, deep roastyness on the finish. Mouthfeel isn’t as thick as you’d expect with low carbonation as expected.

Overall I’d say this is probably my favorite BT variant so far, the complexity is definitely there and the hazlenuts added something to this beer. Definitely a sipper!